hysteria: visualizing female anxiety

this sexy flyer was designed by Alicia Gaines

I am honored to be showing work tomorrow at Hysteria: Visualizing Female Anxiety, a one-night art show curated by one of my closest friends, Carmilla Dirt. This is the art show that she has been wanting to put on for years. The theme of the show is a visual and tactile representation of the anxiety and restlessness that is a part of the female experience, and the different ways in which in we deal with it, or don't deal. I've written before about suffering from social anxiety, but the truth is, my anxiety has always been on a much more pervasive level that simply manifests itself most often when I am forced to interact with other humans. So my brain in attempting to preserve a sense of normalcy, reacts to my anxiety by disassociation - that is, I experience a sense of derealization as a sort of defense mechanism. That derealization used to be so severe that I would stare outside a window and wonder why the world was a dream I couldn't wake up from. Or I would gaze curiously at my limbs and find that I did not recognize them as part of my own body. This in turn directly inhibits my ability to connect with other people on any sort of meaningful level. I have been able to manage this for the most part as I've grown older and accepted this is how my brain processes the world. But on some level, those feelings will always be present within me. My work for Hysteria directly deals with that theme of disconnection via anxiety as I seem to experience it. I'll be showing 4 photos, as well as a performance art video piece that I'm especially excited about. There will be other wonderful female artists showing installations, paintings, sculptures, and performances. If you live in Chicago, please come to this! Meeting readers is always fun, but would mean a lot to me in this context. Hope to see you.


you seem to come and go

(house of matching colours dress, john's ride t-shirt, rachel comey coat, way old shaper shorts, ann demeulemeester boots)

This outfit is a bit of a myth, or Alan Moore's idea of a lie. "Artists use lies to tell the truth", he said, an idea that is both an illuminating insight and an inconvenient truth Think about it. What is art?, other than a series of compounded fabrications, carefully arranged to describe something about the human condition? In this case the lie is that I did not wear this outfit out, and in fact shot these photos on a blisteringly cold day, the kind of day that rots your fingers. I put together this outfit while I was kind of half-heartedly thinking of some outfits to wear at Fashion Week. I don't really care anymore about getting super dressed-up for Fashion Week but I do view it as occasion to wear the things in my closet that I rarely have occasions to wear; I work and am busy and am generally a hermit and these days, I've got little reason to leave my home. 

This dress is probably the most ethereal thing I own and falling headlong into its etherealness feels just a little too costumey for me, so I like to temper its magic with something very utilitarian. This Rachel Comey coat is essentially a gigantic men's jacket made from the thickest wool, and it keeps me warm during the coldest days.

I am putting together pieces for an art show (more on that later) that deals with the theme of anxiety, and whenever I feel anxious, I am always hit with a sense of disconnection. It is though my brain, reeling from feelings, defends itself by detaching. So I wanted to capture that sort of detachment with this outfit and photos. And despite the arresting beauty of this dress, I can't help but feel a bit like Miss Havisham in it. Like how alone and sad she is, dressed in her finery, pining away for something she will never have, and how that distorts her, twists her, into a creature that your heart bleeds for. It all goes back to my fascination with finding (or creating) utter melancholia in beautiful things. And how, on some level, that melancholia is part of the beauty. 

The details of this dress are stunning a level that I can't even fully appreciate; I feel like if I could fully appreciate it, the specialness would dissolve. And it works well with black underthings because of the vaguely blue tones. Sometimes statement pieces are the most impossible to style but often the most rewarding when it clicks - and personally, I enjoy the challenges of distilling the subtleties of a statement piece into something much more wearable.

Paired with the Ride shirt because I've always felt that Ride was the kind of music you should listen to alone. Or maybe that's because I spent a lot of time listening to Ride alone. Their music has an intensely wistful quality. When I first discovered Ride I lost myself in songs like Dreams Burn Down and Chrome Waves, though I breathlessly ached for someone I could share that music with. And as much as I can say that I have found that person, I recognize the value in wallowing in that yearning by oneself. A romantic partner can never fulfill any sort of longing in one's life. We should always strive to fill that yearning within ourselves. It isn't an impossible task, however daunting it may seem, and perhaps it is worthwhile to revel in your own personal desire. That's part of the journey.


winter is coming

Okay, I promise that my next post will be about Imitation of Christ. In the meanwhile, here's the outfit I wore while hanging out at Tortoise's recording studio last weekend. If you've ever wondered what's inside that building with the block-stye mural at Division and Damen, now you know! Personally, every time I've passed that building I've wondered WTF is that place? and I feel very satisfied knowing what's inside.

This outfit is party inspired by Game of Thrones which I have become completely fixated with. I just finished the first book and the first season of the show and feel like it could by my NEXT BIG THING. In other words, the next thing that completely dominates my inspiration for the forseeable future. So this outfit is hella Catelyn Stark, and made me feel very mystical as I walked throughout the studio, long skirt trailing on the ground and split hemlines of my jacket swishing around on top.

(vintage jacket and skirt, rodarte for opening ceremony blouse, pamela love sacred heart necklace)

This jacket is one of my favorite vintage pieces. I've long had a love affair with paisley but there's something so sinister about this jacket, perhaps it is because the paisleys look like evil tentacles or something. The fact that it is sheer begs for some sort of printed garment, because prints look so good peeking out from underneath.

Didn't have a whole lot to say today. Till next time, kiddos.



Okay, I know I said that my next post would be about Imitation of Christ, but I felt compelled to share this outfit, mostly because it's been a go-to winter look for the second year in a row and I've never posted about it! This is one of those outfits that looks more stylized than it actually is - it's so easy to throw on and dress up or down, but packs a visual punch! Plus it embodies my favorite winters themes: desolation (and isolation from it), dualities, death, ghostliness.

(vintage oversized dress, horace knit from ebay, margiela x h&m boots, sock c/o hansel from basel. floral wreath on my door from a thrift store)

Margiela x H&M lucite heel boots to complement the ghostliness. The real lol here is that I bought these boots at H&M couple days ago, where the collection's boots and pumps were unceremoniously piled into the sale racks, priced at $30. Didn't take long for the prices on the Margiela pieces to be slashed to over 75% off...

I love this sweater. I've had it for years and it is dying a very slow death. Someday the bottom knitted band will detach from the rest of the knit completely. While I could mend it, new holes would pop up and take its place. It seems really fitting to let this thing live its life until it can't go on any longer.